This past weekend was the 8th anniversary of our grandson Drew's death. Today would be his 33rd birthday. We mourn losing him so young. As I prayed recently about his life, I sensed the following words I hope they encourage you as they did me.
My name is Drew Swan and I’m in heaven. I left the earth at age 24 and I’d like to tell you about my life experiences before and after that. I’m sharing this through my grandma who is a writer. She was close to me and would know the things I want to say.
I got into drugs early starting with alcohol and then other drugs in high school but I’m proud to say that I didn’t die from drug overdose. Although that could’ve happened twice in my life when I was taken comatose by ambulance to the ER.
I truly did get my life sorted out and I am proud of the fact that I was able to help some other cool young people find purpose and courage to live their best lives. I had a very sweet girlfriend and she laid the law down against my opiate use and sadly that ended our relationship. I certainly made the wrong choice there. I realize that.
I wrote music, lots of songs, and played the piano even the drums for a while. Music was a release for some anger I felt when my parents divorced which I never thought would happen because we were a Christian family but some bad choices were made. None of us are perfect so I’m not putting blame on my parents, just saying it was a tough thing to go through, even in my late teens.
I’m glad to know that many of my relatives have read the book Imagine Heaven and they kinda know what it’s like to be where I am. I’m totally excited about having them join me here someday. I pray that’s true for anybody reading this to come here, too.
The last conversation I had with my younger brother, Jack, I said to him, “It’s all about Jesus, it really is.” You get that relationship straight and it’s easy to live up to your life potential. OK so I know I left earth earlier than most, but I don’t think my premature departure will be wasted if I can help some guys and gals now.
I did have a lot of life experiences that were great in my twenty-four years. I traveled to Costa Rica, Australia - had school semester there, went to Hawaii a couple times, Florida many times, Colorado, Door County biking, hiking. I had a really loving, fun family. We had great times together.
I lived in a small town in Wisconsin and teachers and coaches were good and kind, neighbors were friendly and life was good. I have no complaints. Problem was once you get started on drugs, those drug dealers are very persistent. When I came back from Australia the first call I got on my iPhone was from a guy with a promise of joy for a low price. I wasn’t strong enough in my inner self to resist. Later with the help of a good support system, which is essential, I made better choices.
Sure, life is hard at times but if you think drugs are an answer you are living a mirage, because they truly are not the way to go.
I hope I can help others realize this in time. I also want to say I am loving the life of heaven. It’s beyond anybody’s imagination the colors, the music! I could do some stuff on earth, like I could paint – I had a lot of gifts. But nothing like this. I like the sound of the ocean in my ears. Heaven is beyond beautiful. Life is awesome here.
Back to my past a bit. People were attracted to me like a magnet. I was very outgoing and had lots of fun wherever I went. I sensed joy deep inside when I’d be in church service singing Christian songs and they went through to the core of my being. I loved the experience. Wish I had the mental maturity to choose better than I did with my priorities at the time.
I was the first grandkid to read the Adventures of Tommy Smurlee which I loved. She even let my picture be on the cover of the first edition. Yeah, I know she loved every one of her grandkids just as much as me. We had so much fun together playing games, on Halloween scavenger hunts and playing egg and balloon toss at the lake and in the woods. My grandpa taught me golf and I went to several of the great golf schools that he ran for Christian athletes.
Growing up I heard the gospel – Jesus lived, died for my sins and rose from the dead – and I believed it was important to love God and my neighbor. I wish I had lived it out as well as I knew I should. But hey, this is about encouraging all of you to be brave and be a fool for Christ.
In my last year on earth, I wrote several blogs and was truly humbled by the positive responses I got from readers. Maybe you wanna check those out. https://drewswan.wordpress.com/2013/02/
This is going on my eighth year in heaven. I’m glad to see my family coping without me. I know how loved I was and they’d want me back on earth in a second. No way would I leave this place, much as I love them. We will be together again which I’m really looking forward to – we’ve got a lot of celebrating to do.
I’m glad to know that my girlfriend on earth is a mama with a good man to take care of her - she knows I love her forever. I know what we had but I’m wanting her to have a great life right there on earth now.
I am so grateful to God for loving me and for snatching me straight into His arms. So no tears for me. Crying time is long over. Family, you just keep living to the fullest. Thank you all for loving me so much during all my years on earth.
Go ahead say Christians are crazy and be crazy yourself, because of believing Jesus rose from the dead. Whose going to do that? Well I want you to know that the resurrection is real and not just Christ but I Andrew Swan am living in heaven forever and it’s all because of Jesus. Hope to see you here someday.
From Drew signing off from heaven (via Grandma).
As Drew said, "It's all about Jesus." If you haven't already done so, I urge you to read Jesus Time, Love Notes of Wonder and Worship, 365 Devotionals that will encourage your faith and can deepen your relationship with him. https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Time-Notes-Wonder-Worship/dp/0979989574/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1603732535&sr=1-1&asin=0979989574&revisionId=&format=4&depth=2